Field course in Sri Lanka on Cross-disciplinary Health Research
The University of Copenhagen’s School of Global Health offers a three-week field course in global health and research methods. The course is a close collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. If you are interested in increasing your knowledge on health research through fieldwork experiences, working in cross-disciplinary groups and with local university faculty members, this is the course for you.
The course aims at providing you with an understanding of health research methods, possibilities and challenges in a middle-income setting as Sri Lanka. You will be introduced to and gain a good understanding of significant health challenges in contextual urban, rural, private and government health systems settings.
Furthermore, you will gain a basic understanding of the broad variety of health research methods and designs, as applied by Sri Lankan and international researchers including clinical and epidemiological research, biological fields-sampling, GIS-mapping, community surveys and qualitative health research.
Through lectures, field and institutional visits, group work and discussions, and the development of a research proposal the course includes:
- Introduction to research methods in a middle-income setting
- Introduction to the health system and public health institutions in Sri Lanka
- Introduction to selected current health challenges and selected health topics
- Introduction to selected health research trends in Sri Lanka
- Introduction to the traditional Ayurvedic health system
There is emphasis on cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural group work throughout the course.
Topics which can be explored during group work where you will develop a research proposal include (but are not limited to):
- Mental health (may include topics of self-harm and suicide prevention, child and youth mental health, maternal suicide prevention)
- Environmental health including vector-borne diseases, disease control and interventions (may include dengue and leptospirosis)
- Obesity and cardiovascular diseases
- Non-western medical systems/local healing practices (e.g. Ayurvedic medicine and Buddhism)
(Topic areas are subject to change depending on availability of resource persons)
|Online module (group preparation)||14 June - 14 July 2021|
|On-site module (Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka)||18 July - 6 August 2021|
|Exam||5 - 6 August 2021|
Credit points: 7.5 ECTS
This course is aimed at postgraduate/master level students with an interest in human health. You can be from almost any postgraduate/master programme. So far we have had students studying from very diverse educational programmes e.g. studying veterinary medicine, environmental health, geography, history, humanistic aspects of health, history, information science, politics, business, law, epidemiology, medicine, anthropology, public health, engineering and biology. (NB: Not limited to these disciplines.)
You must have a basic knowledge of research methodology and be able to read and write English at a scientific level.
If you have not completed your bachelor degree on date of application, please upload relevant documentation on how far you have reached in your studies (credit wise etc.) as well as an account (signed by a Study Secretary or other authority) of how far it is anticipated you will have reached by summer, proving this is equivalent to a bachelor's degree.
After the application deadline the admissions committee will go through all the applications and select the course participants, based on an assessment of who qualifies and who will profit the most from the course.
We strongly encourage all applicants to put energy and care into the statement of motivation-section of the online application, as this is the main selection criteria.
The course consists of an online group preparation module, including search for relevant background information and literature, reading, online communication with group members, and initial contact with supervisor (about 15-20 hours in total prior to arrival in Sri Lanka) and an onsite module in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
The course is inter-disciplinary, applying different learning activities including lectures, field visits, independent group work, report writing, group presentations and self-reflection.
You will be divided into groups of 5-7 members. Each group focuses on one specific health topic and will pursue insights into this area of health research through lectures, field visits, small scale data collection, group work, oral presentations, debates with health professionals, group discussions, report writing, and self- and group-reflection.
One month before the course starts, supervisors will contact the groups and propose possible research topics. The groups will do a mini-review of the literature, decide on a focus within the broader topic and develop objectives and a rough plan for how the group will approach the topic during the field work in Sri Lanka. This has to be sent to Sri Lankan supervisors two weeks prior to the start of the course.
When the course starts, the groups and supervisors will decide on the final plan (few intended field visits might have to be agreed on and planned prior to course start).
The course ends with a research symposium with group presentations. This will also be attended by interested supervisors, student assistants and faculty staff.
You will be hosted by and receive input from several experienced Sri Lankan researchers. You independently pursue insights, through field visits into a specified health topic while guided by a Sri Lankan faculty member or health expert, in corporation with Sri Lankan students as co-researchers and interpreters.
Professor Flemming Konradsen, Assistant Professor Jane Brandt Sørensen, a course coordinator, and possibly other staff from the University of Copenhagen will be present in Sri Lanka during the course programme.
Faculty at the University of Copenhagen’s School of Global Health has had academic collaborations with several educational institutions in Sri Lanka since 1994.
The application deadline was 1 April 23:59 2021 (CEST).
We do not accept late applications.
You are exempted from payment, if:
You are enrolled at a Danish university and the course is part of your master's programme. Danish students must provide a pre-approval of credit transfer from their home institution upon application.
You are a student at UCPH enrolled in one of the following programmes, you do not need to apply for pre-approval of credit transfer:
- MSc in Global Health
- MSc in Health Informatics
- MSc in Health Science
- MSc in Human Biology
- MSc in Public Health Science
You are an exchange student and attend the course as part of the autumn exchange semester (min. 3 months stay).
You are an exchange student nominated through Nordplus express or Nordlys.
All other participants (students, working professionals, etc.) must pay tuition fee according to the information below.
EU/EEA citizens: 6,000 DKK
Non-EU/EEA citizens: 9,375 DKK
The fee covers participation in the course. It does not cover course materials, travel, accommodation and living expenses during the course.
Full payment of course fees must be transferred in May. Payment details will be forwarded upon acceptance.
Budget and practicalities for all participants:
All students must cover costs concerning travel, travel insurance (mandatory for the entire course period), visa, vaccinations, food, and accommodation (organized by the course administration at a low rate in mid-range hotels, shared rooms). Students are required to ensure proper vaccinations and visa before travelling.
Apart from the expenses listed above, students must cover their own daily expenses. If these expenses are maintained at a minimum level, living and travel expenses during the course can be expected to amount to DKK 4.500 excluding the flight ticket.
You can only get a refund of your tuition fee, if you cancel at least two month prior to the beginning of the course including e-learning modules.
Unfortunately, the University of Copenhagen does not offer any scholarships or tuition fee reductions.
Currently, we hope to carry out the course as planned.
However, if the situation prevent us from hosting the course as planned, the course will be cancelled.
We will update this information sometime in the spring 2021.
If you have questions about the course content, please write to GLOBAL-HEALTH-SSL@sund.ku.dk
Course responsible: Jane Brandt Sørensen
Course administration: Morten Mechlenborg Nørulf
You can find many answers to frequently asked questions about the faculty's summer courses, such as:
- tuition fee payments
- arrival and departure
If you need specific academic information about the individual courses, you must contact the relevant course responsible directly.
The information may be subject to change.
Students' experiences with the course
Students in the 2018-course in dialogue with their Sri Lankan teachers. Sabine Margarete Damerow writes about her field course experiences and her team's research project in this article.
The scenery is beautiful in Sri Lanka but also a potential breeding sites for dengue mosquitos. Nikita Misella Hansen writes about her team's focus on dengue fever in Sri Lanka in this article.